The gastrointestinal tract, otherwise known as the gut, is an organ that plays a vital role in both the human and animal physiology. The gut takes in food, digests it, extracts and absorbs nutrients, and then expels the remaining waste. This vital organ is gaining increased awareness over recent years as gut health has been linked to influencing a variety of bodily functions including immunity, mental health and mood, weight, and digestion. If you are experiencing symptoms such as bloating, gas, fatigue, feeling foggy, diarrhea, or constipation; it could be time for you to give your belly some TLC.
Taking the correct and appropriate supplementation is a great way to aid a healthy lifestyle, and thankfully, there are resources such as Authority Health to guide you through the many options available. However, without giving your gut the attention and care it deserves, your body may not reap the rewards of the additional nutrients, no matter how good the supplements are.
But don’t let your stomach tie up in knots; we have compiled 5 great ways that you can support your gut health today!
1. Kick Things Off With A Cleanse
A cleanse is a great way to jumpstart the detoxification process and pave the way towards better gut health. There are many types of cleanses you can do such as juicing, salt cleanses, intermittent fasting, or even taking supplementation for a 7-day detox. Whatever you decide to do, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Drink as many fluids as possible, preferably lemon water. If this is a tough one for you, try using one of your favorite glasses, bottles, or mugs as encouragement.
- Include spices and herbs such as cilantro, basil, dill, parsley, onions, garlic, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric in your diet. These will not only increase the flavor but support the detox process.
- Enjoy a sauna or steam bath to get the blood going and sweat flowing!
2. Don’t Panic, Take Probiotics
There are about 40 trillion bacteria in the body, with a majority of those bad boys residing in the intestines. These bacteria are known as gut microbiota and, despite the pet name of ‘bad boys’, they positively impact gut health by supporting digestion of certain dietary fibers, inadvertently reducing inflammation and appetite. Probiotics are live bacteria that replace potential imbalances in the gut microbiota and thus support gut health. If you would like to take this one step further, complement this supplementation with prebiotics; which are nutrients that promote the growth of good bacteria.
3. Swap The “Nay” Foods…
Here is a list of food to stay away from when taking care of your gut, primarily because the items on this list destroy your gut microbiota – causing imbalances that deplete gut health as well as promote the growth of pathogenic yeast and fungi. These foods include:
- Refined Sugar, especially highly processed sugars like corn syrup.
- GM and genetically engineered foods.
- Grains containing gluten.
- Dairy products and other pasteurized foods.
4. …For The “Yay” Foods!
These foods support gut health by nourishing and strengthening good bacteria. The list comprises of:
- Fresh vegetables like dark leafy greens, broccoli, beets, and squash. (Just be sure to wash fruit and veg well before eating it to rid it of excess pesticides and herbicides.)
- Whole fruit rich in antioxidants like raspberries.
- Herbs, spices, and teas.
- Yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut.
- Wild-caught fish and free-range eggs.
- Coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
- Sprouted legumes and beans.
- Red wine and dark chocolate. (Yay!)
5. Get Moovin’ In The Great Outdoors
Studies show that movement, vitamin D, and experiencing nature all have wonderful impacts on your health – as well as your gut! Movement helps microbiota to reduce inflammation while vitamin D is known to ease symptoms of IBS by supporting an optimal intestinal environment for bacteria and microflora to thrive. Nature has a plethora of good bacteria and by simply being in it, exposes you and your belly to the benefits.
Gut health plays a pivotal role in our overall vitality and there are many things we can do to ensure our gut microbiota are flourishing. By kicking things off with a cleanse, opting for probiotics, swapping the “nay” foods for “yay” foods, and getting moovin’ in the great outdoors – you will enjoy a healthier gut in no time. So for your gut’s sake; sip on some red wine, nibble a little dark chocolate, and go enjoy the sunshine.